University presidents agree: what Gen Z students need is what SuperCamp offers and has taught students for more than 35 years—“how to learn throughout their lifetimes.”
Middle school and high school students, also known as Gen Zs, are significantly different from millennials and face very unique challenges in school as well as later when they enter the workforce.
Studies indicate that, overall, Gen Zers are less optimistic than the preceding generation, due in large part to the influence the Great Recession has had on most families with children in the 11–18-year-old range. They also have a great deal of uncertainty about their future career because they’re not even sure what the job market will be like and how current professions will be impacted by automation and artificial intelligence.
The president of Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Bob Brower, goes so far as to say, “Today’s students can expect jobs that don’t yet exist, in companies or organizations that haven’t been created.” Brower believes the answer is not simply about teaching students “what to learn”—it is about teaching them “how to learn throughout their lifetimes.”
SuperCamp has long believed that “how to learn” skills are critical to a student’s academic and professional success. SuperCamp’s foundation is Quantum Learning, a proven teaching method that has impacted the lives of millions of students globally. The learning skills students acquire at SuperCamp include effective study, writing, reading and note-taking strategies, memory and retention skills that use all three learning channels (visual, auditory and kinesthetic), and critical thinking. These are skills that students are able to apply in all subject areas at school.
SuperCamp also addresses other notable characteristics of Gen Z students—their lack of self-confidence, their concern about physical safety and emotional well-being, and their tendency to be easily offended and hyper-sensitive. Students who attend SuperCamp participate in activities throughout the 6- to 10‑day programs that build trust and help them move out of their comfort zones. They also experience “mini-success moments,” in which they get positive reinforcement by successfully applying new learning and life skills they’ve been taught.
Students at SuperCamp learn several communication and active listening skills that enable them to interact effectively with others, even with the most sensitive individuals. Students also go through goal-setting exercises and learn about their personal leadership style at SuperCamp, which further helps them prepare more confidently for an uncertain future.
Complementing these communication skills are the character principles students learn at SuperCamp—the 8 Keys of Excellence. The 8 Keys, which are a cornerstone of SuperCamp, align perfectly with the Gen Z personality and needs. From Failure Leads to Success to Speak with Good Purpose and Flexibility, Gen Zers who attend SuperCamp and embrace the 8 Keys soon realize that, regardless of what the future holds, they can achieve great success while maintaining personal excellence.
Another characteristic of Gen Z is their short attention span—as short as eight seconds! It’s not all that surprising really. This generation has grown up consumed by mobile devices of one kind or another—up to six hours a day for many young people. A study by Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teen children spend in front of screens—and many students are concerned themselves! The impact of this behavior from an academic standpoint is that Gen Z students get bored easily at school. Traditional teaching methods that often rely on just one learning modality only add to this condition. At SuperCamp, we tap into all three learning modalities and use music, movement, and color to elevate the attention of our campers—and we teach students the benefits of utilizing all three modalities in their learning.
In addition, students turn in their mobile devices when they arrive at SuperCamp, and only get access for a short time mid-camp to check in with family. By removing smart phones from the students, a major distraction is eliminated, facilitating greater focus during all learning activities. It also promotes more interaction and team building among the students, as they can’t “hide behind” their devices during unstructured time.
The bottom line is that every new generation faces challenges and many uncertainties. Gen Z is no exception. Parents of Gen Zers, like all parents before them, want the best for their children and want to do whatever they can to help their kids prepare for adult life. SuperCamp is here to help and as this blog post demonstrates our teaching methods and skills training are ideally suited to help Gen Z students.